M7, Susan: OERs and what I thought I knew

At the beginning of this module, I did not recognize the term Open Educational Resource; although, I now realize that I have been benefiting from OERs for years. I have worked with material from TedEd (and TedEx), and some of the videos I regularly use in class are on YouTube and have Creative Commons licenses. That said, I’m now realizing that not all of my go-to a/v needs are open source, and I need to be a better citizen of the OER and academic world and get permissions to use material where needed. I also knew that there was a great deal of usable material out there, but I didn’t realize the sheer number of options available. For example, I’m very happy to been shown MIT’s Open Courseware site and its collection of Linguistics lectures. In fact, I’ve already started sharing some of these links with colleagues.

Instead of asking whether one sees value in OERs, I think it’s better to ask: How can one not see at least a bit of value in them? Even in working with courses that have been taught for years or decades, finding new materials to supplement the class is invaluable. It’s also amazing to see all of these talented, creative folks developing interesting ways of presenting material – I simply don’t have the skill or imagination to create these works. Speaking of, if you’ve never seen The History of English in Ten Minutes (broken down into ten one-minute cartoons) from The Open University, I highly recommend it: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/languages/english-language/the-history-english-ten-minutes. OER at its finest.

5 thoughts on “M7, Susan: OERs and what I thought I knew

  1. I love the history of English in ten minutes. Given the current sad state of my own discipline, I can imagine doing our history in 3 minutes, four tops! I think if we look even randomly we will be finding an amazing amount of material out there. It’s fun. Sort of like and expedition!

  2. Thanks for mentioning MIT’s Open Courseware. I don’t know why I didn’t think to look there for materials on phonetics and phonology courses, but I was happy to see that they have quite a number of offerings (though mostly at the graduate level). It seems what it takes is to sit down and give it some time and focused attention, and searching for OERs online could be really fruitful. Or perhaps that’s a lesson for most everything in work/life? 😉

  3. Susan, I love your recommendation (the history of English in ten minutes) too. I agree with you, I got a lot of benefits from Open Educational Resource. Moreover, you are exactly right, we need to be a better citizen of the OERs and academic world.

  4. These are some great recommendations, Susan. I will have to check out “The History of English in 10 minutes.” As an icebreaker for some of my classes, I often use “30 Second Bunnies Theatre” that features 30-second animated shorts of bunnies acting out the key plot points from famous films. I think that JAWS is my favorite: http://www.angryalien.com/0804/jawsbunnies.asp

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